I Cor. 9:24-25 Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize. You also must run in such a way that you will win. All athletes practice strict self-control. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for and eternal prize.
I am not an athlete, but I do know enough about sports to know that the goal is always to win. No matter what level of expertise you may have, if you don't have the determination to try and win, you will lose. No team hangs onto a player who doesn't try to work hard to win. No one wants someone who isn't committed to the process of giving their best effort to win. No one wants to compete with someone who obviously doesn't do their best to win.
Along with determination there must be the discipline to train one's body to win. One doesn't just enter into a race without training for the race. If he did, he would very quickly drop out due to a lack of physical endurance. He who trains the most will have the best chance to win. Winners always go through the process of preparation for the contest. He takes control over his body and mind. He does not waver from his goal to be a winner. He must die to himself in order to overcome the normal resistance of the body to getting in shape. Training is much easier when a person stays in fairly good shape. It takes consistent discipline to stay in proper shape to compete well. What is true of the body is also true of the soul.
We must strive to stay in good spiritual shape so that we will win the race of life. It takes much and consistent discipline. Those who have the greater faith are those who have disciplined souls. They read and study their Bibles, they pray much, and they exercise their faith often. You must keep your eyes on the goal and not let anything distract you. You must give your all to finishing the race, doing the very best you can, determined to win.
Victory only comes to those who prepare well and run well the race of life. Stay determined with your eyes focused on Jesus and you will make it to heaven when you die.